Cleaning/Lubing Saiga Rifle Gas Tube


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nero45acp
January 11, 2009, 11:01 PM
I just bought my first AK type rifle (a 16.3" .223 Saiga), and I'm doing an initial cleaning/lubing, and I have a couple of questions concerning the gas tube. First, how do you'll clean the gas tube? Second, are you supposed to lube the inside of the gas tube after cleaning it, or should it be dry and free of lube? Finally, should the gas piston be lubed or dry after cleaning? Thanks.

nero

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Deus Machina
January 11, 2009, 11:49 PM
The way I clean it is with a shotgun brush and swab in the sink. A little soap works wonders.

I haven't heard anything official on whether it's supposed to be lubed or not. I compromise--since I clean mine after every outing, I wipe a light layer of lube on the piston rod.

I doubt it keeps much of it, and it likely does little in the long run except gather residue. But it makes me feel good.

briansmithwins
January 12, 2009, 12:00 AM
I leave mine lightly oiled.

Sov AK manual here: http://www.box.net/shared/cu2djae1zb

BSW

Paladin_Hammer
January 12, 2009, 12:23 AM
Didn't it come with the manual?

rangerruck
January 12, 2009, 12:41 AM
oiling is not only unnesessary, but proly will make it build up more crud faster. I use anything i can to swipe out the crud from there, heck , a stick with a piece of rag on the end works. the shotgun brush would work great.

nero45acp
January 12, 2009, 01:18 AM
Thanks for the replies/info.

The rifle did come with a manual, but the manual doesn't say anything about whether or not the gas tube should be lubricated.

According to the manual that Briansmithwins linked, it states on page 74:

"If the rifle has been fired, the gas cylinder and the gas tube should also be cleaned with a patch soaked in alkali solution until all the carbon deposits are removed, after which the parts should be dried with a patch wrapped the wooden stick or around the jag. The gas port should be cleaned with a reamer.

After firing, the piston, the gas piston rod, bolt and operating rod are cleaned with a patch saturated with alkali solution. It is forbidden to clean the operating rod channel in which the return mechanism is housed using the alkali solution; it must be wiped dry using a clean patch and lubricated by applying a patch saturated with rifle lubricating oil.

If the rifle has not been fired, the gas cylinder, gas tube, piston, gas piston rod and operating rod must be wiped down with a clean patch and lubricated."

Though a few lines below it does state:

"It must be borne in mind that excess lubrication tends to collect dirt."

I went ahead and lightly lubricated the gas tube (and piston) with Break Free CLP. If anyone has any info that indicates that this is incorrect, please let me know.

Again, thanks for the replies and info, especially to Briansmithwins for the link to the AK manual. That manual is much better/detailed/informative than the manual that came with my Saiga.

I've got a couple of surefire 10rd mags and a Mojo micro-sight on the way. I can't wait to put on the Mojo sight and get it to the range. :D



nero

WardenWolf
January 12, 2009, 02:12 AM
Shotgun swabs are expensive. There's a cheaper solution from a totally unexpected source:

http://www.actionvillage.com/product/mapping/plvAqAp.VsQAAAEbrg4o8N_m

Paintball has these little devices called "barrel swabs". A .68 paintball barrel is incidentally about the same diameter as a Saiga gas tube. So rather than pay $15 for a shotgun swab that's too long and overpriced, a $5 substitute will fix you up. And you won't feel bad about throwing it out when it gets nasty.

LKB3rd
January 12, 2009, 05:54 AM
I have cleaned it using a foaming bore cleaner. I don't lube it because I don't think that there if much if any contact between the gas piston and the sides of the tube, and it would be a major crud magnet if I did.

LKB3rd
January 12, 2009, 06:09 AM
Woops, double tap. Sorry.

stubbicatt
January 12, 2009, 06:40 AM
I dry brush it with a 12 ga shotgun bore brush. If it is corrosive ammo, I put it in the sink with a dash of dishwashing detergent, and wet brush it. Putting lube on it makes successive cleanings more difficult.

LKB3rd
January 12, 2009, 06:41 AM
I've got a couple of surefire 10rd mags and a Mojo micro-sight on the way. I can't wait to put on the Mojo sight and get it to the range.
Let me know how those mags work? I want a few more mags for my .308, and the FBMG's are hard to find.

45B@cav
January 12, 2009, 08:20 AM
I say no don't lube it. Every gas sysstem on any gun I have ever owned said not to lube it. However I have never directly heard this about my AK's

aka108
January 12, 2009, 10:08 AM
I don't shoot corrosive ammo so I run a 12 ga shotgun brush with a solvent saturated patch wrapped around it down the tube.Work it back and forth. Then run a couple of dry patches, again wrapped around the 12 ga brush and it's done. If I remember correctly, the instruction booklet for both the Saiga and Arsenal, stated no oil in the gas tube or on the piston. Dry is the way to go.

briansmithwins
January 12, 2009, 10:36 AM
I'm not as worried about light oil in the gas system causing malfunctions in the AK. I have had problems with unprotected steel rusting here in Oregon. If I still lived in New Mexico (where 15% relative humidity was considered high) I would probably leave the dry. BSW

heron
January 12, 2009, 10:36 AM
I've noticed that the piston gets more filth than any other part of the rifle, and the gas tube is a close second. Based on this and my experience with other guns, I have treated these parts with Microlon Gun Juice, which prevents the buildup of dirt. I haven't fired it yet to see the difference, but I expect good results.

Other than that, I just treat it the same as the bore; clean thoroughly and oil lightly. A toothbrush fits into the gas tube just right.

expvideo
January 12, 2009, 10:44 AM
You don't need to clean it at all. It's self cleaning. So there really is no wrong way to clean it. I make sure that everything on my rifle is well oiled, so yeah. Might as well oil it. But remember that it's an AK, and if a 12 year old Ugandan boy can clean his, you probably can't do much to mess up yours.

ToadPS
January 24, 2009, 02:10 PM
I'm looking at getting a Tantal; the cheap surplus ammo is corrosive. I have no experience with AKs of any sort.

Advice on various boards seems to be if you shoot the surplus you should clean the gas tube along with bore/chamber.

So, does the gas tube need to be cleaned every time you shoot corrosive?

If so, how long a job is it to disassemble and clean whatever needs to be cleaned?

If it's a long process, perhaps it's better to spend more for non-corrosive ammo?

briansmithwins
January 24, 2009, 07:53 PM
So, does the gas tube need to be cleaned every time you shoot corrosive?

Only if you don't want it to rust. The gas tube is where I see rust start forming.

If so, how long a job is it to disassemble and clean whatever needs to be cleaned?

I can clean and lube my AK in about 20 minutes. That is enough to stop it from rusting. I'll go back the next day and check for any rust spots just in case.

If it's a long process, perhaps it's better to spend more for non-corrosive ammo?

Depends on your cost/benefit ratio. Cleaning supplies are cheap and I always just allow a little extra time when I'm done shooting for cleaning.

BSW

chris in va
January 24, 2009, 07:59 PM
So ah, where exactly are you getting this 'surplus' x39? I haven't seen any corrosive AK ammo in a long time.:scrutiny:

GTSteve03
January 24, 2009, 08:00 PM
If so, how long a job is it to disassemble and clean whatever needs to be cleaned?
However long it takes you to field strip (should be under 5 minutes), boil some water, add some soap and pour it down the barrel/gas tube/all over gas piston/bolt. The hot water/soap neutralizes the corrosive salts and cleans your gun. It should nearly dry itself due to the hot water, then apply the lubricant of your choice to finish.

I would imagine this takes around less than half an hour.

So ah, where exactly are you getting this 'surplus' x39? I haven't seen any corrosive AK ammo in a long time.
Yugo surplus can be found various places online, goes for about $.25-$.30/round. It's corrosive but brass cased and pretty accurate according to reports.

expvideo
January 24, 2009, 08:38 PM
So, does the gas tube need to be cleaned every time you shoot corrosive?
YES. In big ol' capitol letters.

If so, how long a job is it to disassemble and clean whatever needs to be cleaned?
It's really easy on an AK like that. Really easy.

If it's a long process, perhaps it's better to spend more for non-corrosive ammo?
If it's only a few bucks more, I'd just get the non-corrosive. But cleaning an AK is so incredibly easy, I would shoot the most angrily corrosive ammo on the planet if it was cheap enough.

Matt Dillon
January 24, 2009, 09:19 PM
I do lubricate the gas tube and piston with a light spray of Hoppes dri lube. It sprays on and dries completely dry.

ToadPS
January 24, 2009, 11:58 PM
I've just been reading around the 'net that all the Bloc 5.45 has corrosive primers and that if you shoot it, you need to clean it as soon as reasonably possible.

I've seen some Bulgarian ammo out there for ~ $275 for two cans.

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